Government needs to act now if it is to save the sector
London, UK: Research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the Egyptian economy could face daily losses of more than EGP 31 million if it stays on the UK’s travel ‘red list’.
Based on 2019 levels, Egypt’s status as a UK’s ‘red list’ country will pose a significant threat to the nation’s struggling Travel & Tourism sector and overall economy warns WTTC.
According to pre-pandemic figures, UK visitors represented five per cent of all international inbound arrivals in 2019.
The UK was also the third biggest source market for Egypt, only just behind Germany and Saudi Arabia.
However, WTTC research shows that ‘red list’ restrictions are deterring UK travellers from visiting Egypt.
The global tourism body says this is due to fears over the additional costs incurred on expensive hotel quarantine for 10 days on arrival back in the UK, and expensive COVID-19 tests.
Egypt’s economy could face a drain of more than EGP 237 million each week, equating to more than EGP 1 billion every month.
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO WTTC, said: “Every day Egypt stays on the UK’s ‘red list’, the country’s economy faces losing millions just from the lack of UK visitors alone. This policy is incredibly restrictive and damaging as travellers from Egypt also face mandatory hotel quarantine at a huge cost.
“The UK’s government decision to add Egypt to its ‘red list’ has a massive impact not only on the nation’s economy, but also the many thousands of ordinary Egyptians who rely upon a thriving Travel & Tourism sector for their livelihoods.
“The UK’s vaccine rollout has proved incredibly successful with more than three quarters of the adult population double jabbed, and 59% of the total population fully vaccinated. The likelihood is that anyone travelling to Egypt would be fully inoculated and therefore pose minor risk.
“Our data shows just how important Travel & Tourism is to the country, and how critical it is for the Egyptian government to ramp up the vaccination rollout if it is to have any chance of recovering this vital sector, which is fundamental to the country’s economic recovery.”
WTTC research shows the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on the Egyptian Travel & Tourism sector, with its contribution to the national GDP falling from EGP 505 billion (8.8%) in 2019, to just EGP 227.5 billion (3.8%) in 2020.
The report also shows in 2020, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, 844,000 Travel & Tourism jobs were lost across the country.
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